Super Easy Roasted Chicken

Hi Friends!

Yesterday was another freezing day here in MN – temps were -7 when I left for work! Boo!

I really want to get outside and run, but it is too cold and I am too much of a wimp! So I headed to the gym for a quick run:

Afterward I spent some time foam-rolling (focusing on my IT bands mostly – they sure feel sore!) and stretching, along with some pushups, planks, squats and lunges (my “quick” strength workout moves).

I want to show you probably the easiest dinner I have made in a long time:

Easy Roasted Chicken Breasts with Veggies

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a baking dish, combine a bag of veggies (could use baby carrots or broccoli/cauliflower or a mix of all 3) and toss with 2 cloves of chopped garlic and about a teaspoon of oil.

Take 2 chicken breasts, rub with some oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, and place on top of the veggies. Roast for 35-40 minutes.

Super easy and really delicious. I have made a whole roasted chicken in a similar way, but this is easier with just the chicken breasts instead of the whole bird.

What is an easy meal you like to prepare when you are short on time? Usually I make eggs/toast if I am in a rush, but this one might be a close second.

I was looking through some old magazines yesterday (am I the only one who keeps almost any magazine?):

And I picked up an old Cosmo with Christina Aguilera on the cover from 2006 (yes it was that old!) – maybe I thought of her Super Bowl performance?

Anyway, one of the articles is called The Simple Secret to Happiness and it talks about how to “feel calmer instantly, improve your mood and make your life more enjoyable”. Here are a few points :

  1. Buy memories instead of things (go somewhere and experience something vs. buying actual things)
  2. Do a digital detox – for a day or a whole weekend
  3. Instead of spending time thinking about what you wish you had, be thankful for what you DO have
  4. Think happy, positive thoughts
  5. Streamline your schedule
  6. Simplify your home: clean, organize, and get rid of as much as you can (you don’t need it!)
  7. Before “shopping, pigging out or otherwise overindulging” – think about whether doing so will really help you or will it hurt you in the long run (make you feel bad, increase your debt load)

Obviously an article (or even a book) cannot list all of the “secrets to happiness” – but what do you think of the list? Is there anything you would add? Anything you would take out? I personally really like #6 — we have been working on this and it feels good to donate things and to have a clutter free home. I don’t think that is the “secret to happiness” but it definitely helps me keep calm, which in turn makes me happy!

Enjoy your day!

Holly

Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes & Parsnips

Hi Friends!!!
Long time no blog, huh?
Over the weekend I wasn’t feeling good, and I sure didn’t want each post to start with “I’m still sick”. I needed to just focus on getting better, relaxing and getting enough rest! I slept most of the weekend and it felt great. Then, once Monday rolled around I just couldn’t get in the right frame of mind to blog. But it was nice to catch up on some of yours.
Anyway, remember Turkey Bingo from last week? Well, the chicken has been thawing in my fridge and last night I finally roasted the damn thing. This was the first time I ever prepared a whole bird — and I was nervous. So I went to Food Network for some help.
I found and folowed the recipe for Ina Garten’s Perfect Roast Chicken. How easy good does that sound?
So I got to work.
I laid out my “stuffing” materials: 1 halved lemon, 1 head of garlic cut crosswise, and a bunch of thyme, salt and pepper:
After rinsing my bird and patting him dry, I seasoned him with salt and pepper and stuffed him with the lemon, garlic and thyme. I didn’t have kitchen string, or I would have tied his legs closed. I also gave him a butter bath and seasoned the outside with more salt and pepper.
After chopping up my veggies: 1 sweet potato, 3 parsnips, 1/2 yellow onion and 1/2 bag of baby carrots, I seasoned them with salt, pepper, more thyme and tossed them with some olive oil.
Right about now I thought “this is waaaaay too much thyme”. But I trusted Ina, and I’m so glad I did! I placed the bird on top of the veggies and threw it all in the 425 degree oven for about 1 hour and 30 minutes.

The house smelled amazing. Jason came home and said the garage smelled phenomenal. It wasn’t too much thyme. Thank God.
Other than roasting the bird the wrong way (he was upside down…) the whole process went well! And it turned out so good. This is my plate:
Haha, no, this is most of the meat I carved off the chicken. I won’t show you any carving pics because I did a pretty terrible job. Oh well. But look at those veggies — most pieces were almost crispy from the roasting — delicious!!!
*I hope you all have a fantastic holiday — be safe and have fun!!!